Is building an email list necessary for businesses today? In this article, I will share with you my personal opinion based on my experience and understanding of marketing.
Only a few years ago, building and having an email list was one of the most important elements of digital marketing. As you may know, the purpose of an email list is to communicate with your potential customers; follow-up, provide value, build relationships, etc. The bottom line is that email follow-up allows you to close more sales and get a higher ROI, that’s a fact.
But is email the most efficient and effective follow-up method today? Is it actually necessary for businesses to build an email list if they don’t have one yet?
My answer is NO, I cannot say that it’s necessary today.
Why? Let me explain…
Thanks to Google’s massive database, we can follow up and communicate with our prospects, leads, and customers very efficiently and effectively without having to send a single email to them. In fact, we can get our message read/ heard by a much larger percentage of people than we would with email follow-up.
Generally, anything over 20% is considered a good email open rate (many businesses actually get open rates as low as in the single digit percentile).
On the other hand, using Google’s database, we can strategically show relevant non-skippable in-stream video ads to the exact same people that you would’ve had on your email list but instead of getting a 20% (or lower) open rate, you would get almost a 100% view rate (excluding people that mute their device or don’t pay attention to the ad).
Another great option for follow-up is skippable in-stream video ads (focused on providing valuable content before calling to action). Both video ad types allow you to reach your leads very efficiently and effectively without having to build and manage an email list and dealing with CRM software.
Now, you could argue that having an email list is important because it’s “an asset that you’re in total control of” that you can move from autoresponder to autoresponder anytime you want where as, with Google’s data, you can’t move it anywhere off of Google.
You could also add “if Google disappears, all your data is gone” or “if Google bans you for any reason, you won’t be able to advertise on their platform anymore and all the data you collected will go to waste”.
Those are valid points- there’s obviously some downsides to relying on a 3rd party (such as Google) for data. However, my counter argument would be the following:
First of all, does it actually matter if you can move your data from one software to another?
Moving your leads from autoresponder to autoresponder doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the same high open rates you got before. In fact, in most cases, your open rate will drop after the first few newsletters/ broadcasts you send using the new autoresponder.
Additionally, here’s some downsides to email marketing:
1. Your domain could get blacklisted by email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) as I could get banned from Google.
2. Autoresponders are getting more and more strict. If you don’t keep up with their terms, you’ll either get banned or put on a lower quality server and most of your emails will end up in the spam folder.
3. It’s getting harder to effectively communicate with leads via email because email filters send most marketing emails to the promotional folder and spam folder (yes, even if you use plain text and communicate in a “non salesy” fashion).
Next, should we worry about getting banned from Google?
I say no because all we have to do is carefully read Google’s terms and stay compliant. Other than that, chances of getting banned by Google are very slim.
Last but not least, is Google gonna disappear anytime soon?
I don’t think Google is going anywhere anytime soon. Google is constantly keeping up with new trends, evolving technologically, and growing as a company. They’re already well set up for the long haul and, most importantly, they’re not afraid of change.
Whether we like it or not, technology is evolving at an ever quick pace and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. I for one am very excited for what’s coming and I look forward to major technological advancements in the near future.
I believe technology will evolve to the point that we won’t even need the data that we currently rely on to reach our prospects, leads, and customers. Email marketing will definitely be dead sooner than later. Thus, I don’t believe that building an email list is as important today as it was a few years ago.
Businesses should take advantage of platforms such as Google and use their data for advertising AND follow-up because it’s very efficient and effective in the present day. At the end of the day, the most important thing in business is cash-flow so why not focus on what works great today.
As far as “long-term strategy” goes, in this case, businesses need to stay alert, keep up with new trends, and take advantage of new/ modern technology.
Article by Vlad Strizheus, owner of 605 Marketing LLC.